Erdogan’s re-election as Turkish president reflected the people’s will and commitment to democracy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2018, 4:04pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2018, 10:35pm

The letter from Alon Ben-Meir (“Turkish election results reinforce one-man rule”, July 5) makes a prejudiced and unfair assessment of the recent elections in Turkey. His claim that the election results reinforce one-man rule is refuted by the following facts.

The presidential and the 27th term parliamentary elections, held on June 24, were conducted in compliance with free democratic election standards and with an exemplary voter turnout of 88 per cent.

Election observers from international bodies such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) were invited. With the addition of delegations from parliamentary organisations, namely, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TurkPA), Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, a total of 415 international observers were assigned for the elections.

International observers confirmed with various statements that the security of ballot boxes had been assured and the elections were held in a transparent, free, pluralist and fair manner, in accordance with international standards.

Erdogan promise of stability wins vote

At the presidential elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected with 52.5 per cent of the votes. Thus, Mr Erdogan has become the first president of Turkey in the new presidential system, with the support of the majority of the people.

Seven political parties won seats in parliament as a result of the parliamentary elections. It is a clear manifestation of the democratic vibrancy in Turkey.

Mr Ben-Meir presents a biased portrayal of President Erdogan in his letter. In fact, Turkey made substantial progress in democratisation in the last 15 years under the leadership of Mr Erdogan. Within this framework, comprehensive reforms were enacted to enhance democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the country,

Turkey today has a functioning democracy. The presidential and parliamentary elections mark the change from the parliamentary system to a presidential one, with the aim of more effective democratic governance.

Turkish people demonstrated once again their commitment to democracy by their participation in the elections in large numbers. So, the elections are a testimony of the maturity of democracy in Turkey.

Korhan Kemik, consul general, Turkish Consulate General in Hong Kong